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Destination: Europe!

I just came back from an amazing trip. I visited Ireland and the United Kingdom, collectively known as the British Isles. There I celebrated my birthday, kissed the Blarney Stone, took a river cruise, straddled the Greenwich Meridian, rode double-decker buses, circled Stonehenge, stormed castles, saw the Crown Jewels, rode the London Eye, ate delicious Irish and English food, and so much more. Does this sound like a trip you’d like to take? Go for it!

“But wait!” you say as you start the excuses. “I don’t have enough money!” I didn’t either at first. It took months of saving and careful planning to make this trip happen. If you’d like to take a trip this summer or next summer, now is the time to start preparing. Wherever you want to go, these tips will help you get there as you enjoy some snapshots from my recent European adventure!

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by Jessica Lippe

How I Did It

  • I decided on a savings goal. I did this by figuring out the cost of my must-dos for the British Isles, as well as cutting back on areas that weren’t important to me. I could have spent less if I decided to only visit free attractions and only eat meals I cooked myself. However, I also could have spent a lot more if I stayed at resorts instead of hostels and only ate at sit-down restaurants. When it comes down to it, splurge on what’s important to you, and don’t feel obligated to spend on things that don’t matter to you.
  • In the months leading up to my trip, I found ways to save money on both trip expenses and everyday living. I kept all of my savings listed in a computer document. Check out below a few of my favorite ways to save. Even if I only saved five cents, I would add that to the list. Every penny counts!
  • I worked extra. That could mean being willing to put in extra hours at my regular job (it may help if your boss knows your travel and savings goals), babysitting, or doing some work from home. While some of the extra that I earned went to tithes and taxes, a large portion went directly into my travel fund.
  • I planned out my trip, but also left some time for spontaneity and incidentals (which came in handy as my flight was late). Although I’d be happy to return to the British Isles, I wanted to make sure that I did all my must-dos so that I wouldn’t feel like I missed out.
  • I packed up, prayed over the trip, and headed to the airport!

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$aving at Home

Saving for travel is possible! Cut back on some of these expenses and prioritize your trip savings instead.

  • Pack your meals instead of eating at restaurants. Even fast food prices add up (not to mention your homemade food will probably be healthier).
  • Try to drive less by walking, biking, or at least combining your car trips. You’ll save on gas as well as your car’s wear and tear.
  • Carry a refillable water bottle or travel mug with you so you’re not tempted to buy pricey drinks.
  • Do you spend a lot on books and movies? Borrow from friends or the library instead. You can also check out the internet, as Amazon offers some free eBooks and YouTube streams some free movies.
  • Get great deals on clothing at thrift stores, or combine coupons with the clearance rack at your favorite department store. Better yet, make use of the clothes you already own.
  • Set a designated time (a week, a month, or until your travel departure date) where you buy nothing. Instead, appreciate the toiletries, food, and entertainment you already have at home.

One way I saved some extra money was by using Swagbucks. Click here to sign up for Swagbucks for free and start earning gift cards!

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$aving on Travel

No matter where you’re headed, try using these money-saving tips:

  • Try different forms of accommodation. Hostels, campgrounds, and inexpensive Airbnbs are my favorite frugal options. As long as it’s a safe place, where you stay doesn’t matter too much as you should be out exploring most of the time.
  • Plan one or two nice meals if you’re interested in that sort of thing, but supplement restaurants with street food and grocery stores. Yes, shopping for food in a foreign country can be an interesting experience in itself!
  • Pack light. If you’re flying, you’ll save time and money by only bringing carry-on bags. If driving, you’ll get better gas mileage with a lighter load.
  • You don’t have to take a taxi or Uber. Walk as much as possible to get a better lay of the land, and perhaps even stumble upon a local secret! For longer distances, you can rent a bicycle or take public transportation, such as a train or bus.
  • Don’t spend too much on souvenirs. Unless you’re visiting China, why buy something stamped with “Made in China”? Buy just a couple quality items, or collect free souvenirs like photos and ticket stubs.
  • Most destinations have some interesting free attractions, like parks and museums. One of my favorite free travel activities is attending a church service, especially in an iconic building like London’s Westminster Abbey!

Get more travel tips and inspiration at our editor’s website, JessicaLippe.com

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Back to School Savings 

Back-to-school shopping is in full swing. You can go to any superstore and pick up pencils, paper, and folders for just pennies each. But now, we at Girlz 4 Christ would like to offer you savings on bigger ticket items that you can use year-round!

The following contains affiliate links. This just means that if you click on the links, we’ll both end up with some extra money in our pockets. Thank you for supporting Girlz 4 Christ through your wise shopping!

Movie Streaming Service

We are excited to tell you about our favorite streaming service. We are even more excited that we can give you a month of unlimited movies and shows for free! Pure Flix offers a wide variety of clean things to watch in every genre. We even offer a growing list of recommended movies for you to see. Click here to start your free month now!

Shaving Razors

We like using Dollar Shave Club razors because they’re effective, durable, and help the environment by having replaceable blades. Not to mention, they are super inexpensive!  The options may look like razors for men, but we assure you that they remove hair from legs and armpits at least as well as any pink razor ever has. The Dollar Shave Club toiletry options are pretty great, too. Click here to shop or set up a subscription, which you can cancel at any time.

Gift Cards

We know that gift cards are fun to shop with. It’s even better when those gift cards are free! When you sign up for an account with Swagbucks, you can earn points for doing simple things like playing games, taking surveys, or searching the web. You can then use those points for gift cards to places like Amazon, Redbox, restaurants, or even the gas station. Click here to join Swagbucks and start off with $3 for free!

Lodging

Need a getaway before the school year begins? Or maybe a weekend trip to retreat in the fall? No matter where you go, there’s probably an AirBnB nearby. We like renting rooms and houses from AirBnB because they’re unique and often inexpensive. Click here to save $40 off your first AirBnB stay. If you prefer hostels, check out the price comparison tool from the largest database of hostels.

Books

If you have to buy your own school textbooks, our best recommendation is to try to find used ones online. But for personal reading choices, we can point you to FREE books! When you join Tyndale Rewards, you can earn free Christian books, discs, and other gifts for things like posting online or giving your opinion.

Magazine

We couldn’t forget this one! You can always get a 100% free, no-strings-attached subscription to Girlz 4 Christ Magazine. Each issue is packed with devotions, celebrity interviews, beauty tips, book and movie reviews, and so much more. Click here to become a subscriber now!

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This post has utilized affiliate links. Thank you for clicking through them so that we both can have a little more cash in our pockets!